When people are diagnosed with cancer, it is an inevitably dark time in their lives; they often feel alone and have many questions and concerns. In Toronto and communities across the country, the Canadian Cancer Society lights the way for cancer patients and their families during every step of their cancer journey.

Helping patients and their families

The Society offers information and support services that are proven to ease stress and anxiety in patients and their families. Many of these services are free and help is available in more than 200 different languages.

Research progress continues to provide a ray of hope to those touched by the disease. Today, more than 60 percent of Canadians diagnosed with cancer will survive, compared to about 25 percent in the 1940s.

Improving patient quality of life through research

The Society invests in research aimed at better prevention, earlier detection, improved treatments, andenhanced patient quality of life or well-being. Imagine having to choose between treatment that will save your life, but rob you of your ability to have children. This is the heart-breaking dilemma many young women face when they are diagnosed with cancer. Currently, many Canadian cancer care experts lack the knowledge and resources necessary to advise these patients about fertility-preserving choices. Through a new grant, Dr. Nancy Baxter, a Toronto-based surgeon, is creating a tool that will help patients and doctors talk about these choices before cancer treatment starts.

Dr. Baxter says her Canadian Cancer Society grant gives her the opportunity to bring together a multidisciplinary team, including surgeons, oncologists, a reproductive health specialist, and other experts to fully explore this area. “Without funding from the Society, there would be no other way to do this project. Other funding agencies in Canada just don’t have the focus on quality of life like the Society does.”

The Canadian Cancer Society funds this type of research because quality of life is an important consideration for people living with and beyond cancer.